Q: How did the idea for the Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance come to mind?
TT: I started a job as the romance book buyer at Murder One bookshop on Charing Cross Road in London in January 2006 (the shop closed at the end of January this year after 21 years of selling crime, mystery & romance. Myself and a co-worker bought the business and are now running the stone online at www.murderone.co.uk until we get enough money to reopen a shop). January 2006 was a Feehan/Kenyon year and the popularity of vampires was getting major with a clear-sighted UK publisher called Piatkus buying in UK rights for a bunch of US vampire romance (from Kenyon, Feehan, etc.). So vampires were everywhere. My boss at the time, the owner of Murder One, crime writer Maxim Jakubowski saw that the vampire romance genre was exploding and had a word with publishers Constable & Robinson in the UK who he worked with doing mammoth books of crime fiction. I think when he mentioned it to them, they listened but it hadn't got big enough to get really excited yet. So Maxim put the bug in their ear but they didn't really bite. Fast-forward a year later, and Constable & Robinson comes back to Maxim, really excited about the idea now and wanting to do a vampire romance anthology. Maxim does tons of crime anthologies each year, as well as writing a column for newspapers and online sites, and writing his own novels, so he was a little busy. He kindly pointed the publishers my way, and as the romance book buyer with, by now, a great knowledge of the vampire genre and its players, it was a perfect fit and the publishers contracted me to create their first vampire romance anthology: The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance.
Q: Do you work for a publisher?
TT: Yup. See above.
Q: As the editor are you responsible for recruiting all the authors in each anthology?
TT: I'm responsible for recruiting all the authors and getting in all the stories in the book. It's a fun process, sometimes really nerve racking! It's great when a book starts to take shape when you've got a few authors and you start to see how the whole book is going to go (like, The MBO Vampire Romance 2 [subtitled Love Bites in the UK] became a lot more urban fantasy oriented when authors like Caitlin Kittredge and Stacia Kane did in-store events at Murder One, and writers like Camille Bacon-Smith and Devon Monk said "yes" to participating in the anthology). I know that nobody probably reads book intros but, as it's the only place that I actually get to write something, I really use the intro to figure out what exactly the book has become. It can start as pretty sprawling, but by the end of the day, the book gets a real sense of self and I can realize a whole, complete vision for it.
Q: Do you put together the anthology idea and then present it to the publisher, or does an idea get bought and then the authors are recruited?
TT: Well, the first vampire anthology was suggested to me by the publishers, but then they were interested in any other ideas I might have, although they don't go with everything.
Q: With the popularity of vampires at the moment do you foresee The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance XX eventually?
TT: Vampires are still incredibly popular right now so I think I may be really pleasantly surprised and there may be many, many more vampire romance anthologies to come!
Q: What other anthology collections have you put together?
The Eternal Kiss, was published by Running Press in the States at the end of July this year. It features some amazing authors. Often I just get really lucky but lots of great writers hang out together and so one friend tells another friend, and another tells another. Some of the writers, as well, came from my previous Mammoth anthologies, like Lilith Saintcrow (she writes YA as Lili St. Crow), Kelley Armstrong, Nancy Holder and Maria V. Snyder. And Rachel Caine. So, there is a lot of cross-pollination, I find. I've edited a total of 3 Mammoth romance anthologies which have been already published: The MBO Vampire Romance, The MBO Paranormal Romance, The MBO Vampire Romance 2. Then there's another one coming out at the end of the year: The MBO Time Travel Romance: a bit of a departure from vampires and werewolves but even in time travel we never get too far from the paranormal (I mean, What the heck is time travel if not supernatural?)
Q: Any 'creatures' you'd love to organize an anthology for?
TT: Zombie boyfriends. Supposedly Sarah Rees Brennan (YA author of The Demon's Lexicon) can't stop writing stories about zombie boyfriends, and she's very nice and I like her so I'd like to do a book devoted to them!
Q: Are all the stories in the antho romance (re: HEA) or are some more Urban Fantasy?
TT: I encourage HEAs because these Mammoth anthologies are "romance" anthologies but the whole genre of vampire/paranormal romance has entwined with that of urban fantasy that it's hard to see where one ends and the other begins. It's like a hybrid animal—some kind of fantasy romance monster.
Q: Are any of the stories tied in to an existing world the author may be writing?
TT: Lots of them are, yeah. We're just now thinking of a way that we can let everyone know which stories are related to which series and where they fit into writer's timelines etc.
Q: What anthologies will we see edited by you in the future? (2010)
TT: The MBO Irish Romance (out St. Patrick's Day—of course), The MBO Special Ops Romance, The MBO Regency Romance, and many others in the works, including a MBO Paranormal Romance 2!
Thanks, Trisha, for giving us the scoop on the MBOs!
Trisha's Bio: Trisha Telep was the romance & fantasy book buyer at Murder One, the UK's
only crime/mystery & romance bookstore. She's recently re-launched this classic bookstore online after its sad closure at the end of January this year: www.murderone.co.uk. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she completed the Master of Publishing program at Simon Fraser University before moving to London in 2004. She lives in Hackney, East London, with her boyfriend,filmmaker Christopher Joseph.
Table of Contents for THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF VAMPIRE ROMANCE 2:
• Jordan Summers PARIS AFTER DARK
• Deborah Cooke COVEN OF MERCY
• Karen MacInerney CIRQUE DE LA NUIT
• Caitlin Kittredge PERDITION
• Dina James DELIVER US FROM EVIL
• Camille Bacon Smith BLOOD AND THYME
• Rosemary Laurey INTO THE MISTS FOREVER
• Patti O’Shea BLOOD FEUD
• Angie Fox LOVE BITES
• Caitlin Kiernan FLOTSAM
• Jamie Leigh Hansen THE MURDER KING'S WOMAN
• Carole Nelson Douglas BUTTERFLY KISS
• Diane Whiteside CRIMSON KISSES
• Jaye Wells VAMPSPLOITATION
• Stacia Kane TRUST ME
• Jennifer Ashley THE SCOTSMAN AND THE VAMP
• Justine Musk I NEED MORE YOU
• Jennifer St. Giles POINT OF NO RETURN
• Dawn Cook (aka Kim Harrison) WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE
• Nancy Holder BLOOD GOTHIC
• Larissa Ione ETERNITY EMBRACED
• Jeanne Stein THE GHOST OF LEADVILLE
• Tiffany Trent THE VAMPIRE, THE WITCH, AND THE YENKO
• Ann Aguirre CIRCLE UNBROKEN
• Devon Monk SKEIN OF SUNLIGHT
Everyone please stop back in to VampChix tomorrow for a special announcement about a new venture here at the blog. (Hint: It involves the Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2!)